Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest
|National selection events||Festival da Canção|
|Appearances||46 (40 finals)|
|Best result||6th: 1996|
|Worst result||Last: 1964, 1974, 1997|
|Portugal's page at Eurovision.tv|
Portugal has entered the Eurovision Song Contest 46 times since its debut in the 1964 contest. Since then, they have missed only four contests.
Portugal's debut entry was António Calvário with "Oração", however it was not a successful debut for the country, with Calvário coming last in the contest. Since then Portugal has come last twice, in 1974, when Paulo de Carvalho sang "E depois do adeus", and in 1997 when Célia Lawson performed "Antes do adeus". Despite its last-place finish in the contest, "E depois do adeus" has since gained notability for being one of the two signals to begin the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime in the country.
Portugal has never won the contest, being the longest country in the contest without a win. Their best finish was at the 1996 contest, when Lúcia Moniz came sixth with the song "O meu coração não tem cor". As such, Portugal has never finished in the top five of any contest.
Since semi-finals were introduced into the contest in 2004, Portugal could not proceed from the semi-final from 2004 to 2007, achieving a best place of 11th at Helsinki, 3 points away from qualifying. However, in 2008, ranking as 2nd place, Vânia Fernandes became the first Portuguese artist to qualify for the final, when she came second with "Senhora do mar (Negras águas)". In the final she came 13th with 69 points, Portugal's best finish since 1998. Portugal again qualified for the final in 2009, represented by Flor-de-Lis with "Todas as ruas do amor", where Portugal eventually finished 15th with 57 points. It qualified again in 2010 with Filipa Azevedo. In the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 Portugal failed to qualify for the Final for the first time in 3 years when they achieved 18th place with 22 points.
The contest is broadcast in Portugal by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP).
Portugal has been absent from four contests since their first participation. The country's first absence was in 1970 where Portugal, along with four other countries, boycotted the contest due to the result of the previous year, when four countries were announced the winner.
Portugal missed the 2000 contest due to their poor average results over the past five years. Despite being eligible to enter the 2002 contest, RTP declined to enter, and was replaced by eventual winner Latvia.
Festival da Canção
Festival da Canção (sometimes referred to as "Festival RTP da Canção") is the Portuguese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, organized by RTP, and is normally held in February/March of the year of the contest. It is one of the longest-running Eurovision selection methods. Previously a number of regional juries selected the winner, however recently the winner has been selected through televoting. In 2009 and 2010, a 50-50 system between district juries and televote (like in the ESC) has been used.
Despite Portugal being absent from the contest on three occasions, the Festival da Canção has mostly gone on regardlessly. In 1970, when Portugal boycotted the contest, Festival da Canção 1970 went on ahead, the same occurring in 2000. The only two times that Festival da Canção was not held was in 2002 and 2013.
- Second place
- Third place
- Last place
- Automatically qualified to the final
- Did not qualify for the final
- Did not compete or was relegated
NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.
As of 2012, Portugal's voting history is as follows:
- Winner – Portugal gave 12 points to a winning song.
- Second place – Portugal gave 12 points to a runner-up song.
- Third place – Portugal gave 12 points to a third place song.
- Qualified – Portugal gave 12 points to a song that qualified to the Grand Finals.
- Non-qualified – Portugal gave 12 points to a song that did not qualify to the Grand Finals
|1975||France||1988||Switzerland||No semi-finals||2001||France||No semi-finals|
|1976||United Kingdom||1989||United Kingdom||2002||Did not participate|
|1987||Italy||2000||Regelated||2013||Did not participate||Did not participate|
1 The voting for the 1996 pre-qualifying round is unknown to date.
Marcel Bezençon Awards
|Year||Song||Performer||Final Result||Points||Host city|
|2008||"Senhora do mar (Negras águas)"||Vânia Fernandes||13th||69||Belgrade|
Commentators and spokespersons
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2012)|
|1964||Gomes Ferreira||Maria Manuela Furtado|
|1970||Portugal did not participate|
|1975||Júlio Isidro||Ana Zanatti|
|1979||Fialho Gouveia||João Abel da Fonseca|
|1980||Isabel Wolmar||Teresa Cruz|
|1981||Unknown||Margarida Mercês de Mello|
|1983||Eládio Clímaco||João Abel Fonseca|
|1984||Fialho Gouveia||Carlos Ribeiro|
|1985||Eládio Clímaco||Maria Margarida Gaspar|
|1986||Fialho Gouveia||Margarida Mercês de Mello|
|1987||Maria Margarida Gaspar||Ana Zanatti|
|1988||Margarida Mercês de Mello||Maria Margarida Gaspar|
|1989||Ana Zanatti||Margarida Mercês de Mello|
|1990||Ana do Carmo||João Abel Fonseca|
|1991||Maria Margarida Gaspar|
|1992||Eládio Clímaco||Ana Zanatti|
|1993||Isabel Bahia||Margarida Mercês de Mello|
|1994||Eládio Clímaco||Isabel Bahia|
|1995||Ana do Carmo||Serenella Andrade|
|1996||Maria Margarida Gaspar||Cristina Rocha|
|1998||Rui Unas||Lúcia Moniz|
|1999||Manuel Luís Goucha|
|2000||Eládio Clímaco||Portugal did not participate|
|2001||Margarida Mercês de Mello|
|2002||Portugal did not participate|
|2003||Margarida Mercês de Mello||Helena Ramos|
|2004||Eládio Clímaco||Isabel Angelino|
|2007||Jorge Gabriel||Francisco Mendes|
|2008||Isabel Angelino||Teresa Villa-Lobos|
|2009||Hélder Reis||Helena Coelho|
|2010||Sérgio Mateus||Ana Galvão|
|2011||Sílvia Alberto||Joana Teles|
|2013||Sílvia Alberto||Portugal did not participate|
In the late 1990s the English actor and comedian Steve Coogan created the character "Tony Ferrino" for his television comedy series. "Tony Ferrino" is supposedly a Portuguese singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest; he is a stereotype based on singers and entertainers often seen on European television programmes in the 1970s and 1980s. The BBC produced a one-off programme The Tony Ferrino Phenomenon in 1997.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
- Bakker, Sietse (2002-11-29). "EBU confirmed: Portugal resigns, Latvia is in". ESCToday. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Jiandani, Sanjay (22 November 2012). "Portugal will not participate in Eurovision 2013". ESCToday. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Points to and from Portugal eurovisioncovers.co.uk